How to avoid overeating this Thanksgiving

Nov 23, 2021, 11:06 AM | Updated: 11:07 am
Thanksgiving dinner with all the sides. (Stock photo)...
Thanksgiving dinner with all the sides. (Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

With the big Thanksgiving meal just a few days away, many are gearing up to buckle down and unbuckle their belts. However, more often than not, that one big meal turns into leftovers… and many more big meals. 

Liz Hill, a dietician with Intermountain Health, spoke on Utah’s Morning News (UMN) with Amanda Dickson and Tim Hughes on Tuesday morning. She mentioned some ways to avoid overeating this holiday season. 

Is holiday weight gain unavoidable?

Hill told Utah’s Morning News (UMN) that most Americans tend to gain weight over the holidays. On average, Americans gain two pounds each holiday season. Hill says two pounds “doesn’t sound like much.” But warned, when people aren’t able to lose that weight then “in a decade, you’ve gained 20 pounds.”

Holiday weight gain can be a result of the kinds of foods people eat over the holidays. Hill said, eating food we don’t typically consume, or that may be a special treat at a certain time of year should be a focus. When individuals focus on enjoying and savoring the foods they don’t typically eat, they may be more in tune with their appetite. 

Be present during mealtime. 

“We often don’t take the time to actually tell if we are enjoying the food. We just might finish the entire piece of pie because that’s what we were served… A lot of us have the mentality of clearing our plates, not waisting food, or honestly, we might just be on autopilot.” 

Hill recommended people take time to check in with themselves while they are eating, to avoid the “autopilot” mode of consumption during meals. Instead of finishing whatever is in front of you, take time to consider when you might be full, she advised.

If you begin to feel uncomfortably full as you eat, stop there and recognize that you have gotten as much satisfaction as you’re going to get from whatever it is you’re eating. 

Focus on the company, not the calories. 

Finally, Hill recommended individuals focus on the people they are with this season, more than the food.

UMN host Amanda Dickson said this is her preferred method. She focuses on participating actively in the conversations happening at the table. When balancing eating and engaging conversation, Dickson noted, it’s easier to recognize when you become full. 

“If I eat too fast, I don’t even sense that I’m full until I’m so full that I’m in pain.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
2 days ago
Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
2 days ago
White carnations representing each of the 1,746 unborn babies that were aborted in Utah in 2022 are...
Allessandra Harris and Simone Seikaly

Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol

About 100 people including Utah lawmakers and religious leaders attended the memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
3 days ago
 A mental health clinic will reopen on Thursday after a carbon monoxide leak sent at least 17 peop...
Michael Locklear

Carbon monoxide poisoning at central Utah clinic hospitalizes 17 people

The Central Utah Counseling Center in Ephraim was evacuated a week ago after a problem with an old furnace was discovered.
4 days ago
a row of guns are pictured...
Mark Jones

KSL at Night: How do we solve gun violence?

KSL at Night hosts Taylor Morgan and Maura Carabello speak with Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council about gun violence.
5 days ago
Prescription opioid...
Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Amazon launches $5-a-month unlimited prescription plan

Some of the generic drugs included in the program include Bupropion, Cephalexin, Doxycycline, Estradiol and Sertaline.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
How to avoid overeating this Thanksgiving